Home > 一語一得 / One Story, One Lesson
In the Analects of Confucius known as the Rongo (論語) in Japanese, he states the academic theory that "study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous."
Take the example of reading a book. Reading a book without reflecting upon its meaning will only lead to confusion, and is the same as having no understanding of it.
Conversely, thoughts produced by just using our mind alone or through daydreaming without taking in outside knowledge leads to arbitrary conduct which can be rather dangerous as well.
It is necessary to recognize what we understand and what we do not understand. Confucius explains that only then can we gain true awareness.
In our training of Kyudo, the same can be said. As mentioned by the Heki-Ryu Chikurin-Ha: 受、知、修学 "Take-in, Understand, and Study". Understand thoroughly of what is correct, and try to express it thorough our shooting.
No matter how much we learn, if we do not attempt to understand it we will not be able to express it. On the other hand, if we don't put effort into learning or recklessly attempt things by one's self even through trial and error, there is a fear of us acting arbitrarily and becoming narrow-minded. This type of incorrect effort does not produce any results and we wind up paying a heavy price for it. All efforts unfortunately will be in vain.
Within the Shagaku Seisoh (射学正宗), it mentions "a man who was trying to get to the kingdom of Yan to the north wound up following tracks from a carriage heading south to the kingdom of Yue." This serves as a warning of what happens when one becomes self-opinionated and narrow-minded.